Posted On: 11/1/18 1:00 PM
November 14, November 21, and November 29. Three important dates to stay cognizant of if you’re a senior basketball prospect. The first two represent the beginning and the end of the Early Signing Period for Division I basketball commits. In Ohio, we’re on-track to have up to 17 seniors sign during that span. Then, November 29: the official start of the high school basketball season.
The imminence of those dates got us thinking that it would be timely to look at the top players who are uncommitted at this time. Although many of the 41 prospects in our weeklong series won’t sign to a D-I program early or late, all of them should play college basketball next season.
Ben Roderick, 6’6”, Olentangy Liberty
Roderick appears on track to play the entire 2018-19 high school season after returning in the 270 Hoops Fall League after last winter’s ACL tear. Before the injury, Roderick had looks from schools like Ohio State, Wisconsin, Xavier, and other high-major programs. Toledo, Ohio Univ., Akron, Stony Brook, and UT-Martin offered Roderick before the injury. To varying degrees, some of those programs have kept a close eye on the versatile scorer.
Morgan Safford, 6’4”, Hartley
Now a senior, Safford’s physicality and athleticism as a slasher and rebounder should make him one of the most dominate players in Ohio this season. With just one reported offer from Walsh, Safford is a clear candidate to be this year’s breakout senior in terms of recruitment. We expect him to land at a Division I program by season’s end.
Ben Fort, 6’5”, Reynoldsburg
Fort’s length and quickness are appealing tools for programs. IUPUI was the first to offer Fort following the grassroots season and it’s been quiet since then from others. The wiry athlete has always been good at attacking the rim off the catch. But this season at Reynoldsburg, he will finally be the featured scorer, playmaker, and ball-handler — an opportunity to showcase different pieces of his game. We expect him to wait until after the season to see if anything materializes now that he isn’t secondary in their offense.
RaHeim Moss, 6’4”, Springfield
Moss holds Division I offers in both basketball and football, a combination that speaks to his powerful athleticism. He is excellent in the open floor, where isolated defenders have a difficult time containing him on his pursuit to the layup. Similarly, Moss can attack matchups in the half-court by sizing them up, attacking hard, and challenging shot-blockers at the rim.
Jayson Woodrich, 6’5”, Beachwood
Woodrich is one of the sharpest shooters in the state. He has a quick high-release, supreme confidence, range, and the size to shoot over defenders. Woodrich also has a pretty good feel for the game. Although his shot selection could be conservatively described as “aggressive,” Woodrich occasionally takes advantage of passing angles in creative ways once the floor opens up. Sinclair Community College has offered and he will be a junior college recruit coming out of high school.
Garrett Denbow, 6’5”, Ashland
Charleston offered Denbow in early July. He seems, to us, like a perfect fit at the Division II level. Although he may not be the most explosive athlete, Denbow’s size, shooting, and IQ will translate. He should be able to defend two or three positions, depending on how big he gets in the weight room. Denbow can catch-and-shoot very well, but he has also become more creative and effective off the dribble in the last year.
CJ Napier, 6’4”, Fenwick
Christian Brothers offered Napier in the middle of his breakout July Live Period this summer. He is a physically strong wing that really looks to ensure ball movement in the half-court. Napier loves to get into the paint before reverse pivoting to find an open shooter. The lefty can also defend up in small lineups, shoot the rock, and finish in traffic. Certainly a Division II prospect.
Jarred Logan, 6’4”, Elyria Catholic
Logan challenges opponents with his combination of athleticism and strength. He has become a freight train in the open floor as his body transformation seems to just be underway. Logan can also move his feet well, allowing him to body up against ball-handlers on the wing. As Logan continues to prove capable of shooting and possibly creating off the bounce, expect more offers throughout his senior season. Air Force became the first to offer rather recently.
Derek Van Vlerah, 6’5”, Coffman
DVV has Division I caliber bounce and length, yet he’s just learning how to apply those skills to the game. He’s the only guy on this list who has received two offers in the last month, as Charleston and Hillsdale have been impressed with his open gym performances. His wingspan and quick-twitch muscles allow him to disrupt scorers on the wing and his transition scoring ability is electric. DVV also has good shooting mechanics and the jumper could become a weapon as his confidence grows.